Abundant Acres Growers


Herb Plants


Updated for 2017



Heirloom Herb plants are $3.00 each, plus shipping, except as noted.  All plants are shipped Priority Mail.  Plants are well established in 2˝" square pots that are 3˝" deep to provide our customers with larger, healthier plants. NOTE: Number of days from transplanting until harvest is only for comparison purposes between varieties. Actual number of days varies with location and growing conditions.


CUSTOM GROWING: Don't see that "must have" variety in our regular offerings?  We're happy to do custom sowings of unlisted varieties, often at no extra charge!  But you must order early enough to allow the plants to reach shipping size.  More Information


 



Ashwagandha   $3.00  
(Withania somnifera)  Legendary Ayurvedic herb originating in India. "Somnifera" means literally "sleep bearer" and Ashwagandha has been renowned as a medicinal herb for centuries: as a sleep aid, and as an all-around tonic on the order of ginseng, as well as to treat post-partum ailments and a host of others. Plants may reach to nearly 5 feet in height in their native land, where they flower almost year-round. Stems and branches are covered in a fine down, and bear leaves to 4 inches in length. Small green-to-yellow flowers appear in clusters, then give way to quarter-inch round red fruits, borne in an inflated calyx reminiscent of a miniature tomatillo. It is the roots that carry the reputed medicinal effect. Expect to harvest roots the following spring after overwintering in very mild conditions. For a fascinating study, see http://www.herbalnet.org/SHRUBS/withania_somni.asp

  


Basil, Cinnamon  $3.00  
(Ocimum basilicum) A medium-sized culinary basil, with some purple coloration, though not showy. Cinnamon doesn't really describe it in our opinion--perhaps clove-or anise-like, or maybe it just tastes like itself. In any case, it's indispensable in Mexican dishes, being from that country. A fine, unusual addition to fresh salsas.




Basil, Dark Purple (Opal)  $3.00

(Ocimum basilicum) A uniform, rich Roman purple on fairly large plants. Very attractive and grown as much for its appearance as for culinary use; flavor only so-so, but definitely basil and can certainly be used as such.





Basil, Fine Verde    $3.00 
(Ocimum basilicum) Culinary - Compact plants, delicate little leaves, big on real Italian basil flavor. Good in pots, and a good choice for overwintering on your window sill!





Basil, Genovese  $3.00       
(Ocimum basilicum) Culinary - Another traditional Italian variety, so you can be sure it tastes like it should!  Large plants, large succulent leaves, easily grown to perfection. A good all-around choice, and the standard by which we judge other European basils' flavor.






Basil, Greek Dwarf  $3.00 
(Ocimum basilicum)
Very small, shrubby plants to about 12 inches tall, work very well in pots, which is how they're often grown in Greece. Good, richly flavored culinary variety, excellent for overwintering indoors. (Since these plants are quite dwarf, the seedlings we ship will be proportionately smaller as well.)


Basil, Italian Mountain Sweet  $3.00 
(Ocimum basilicum) The most cool-weather tolerant of any basil we've heard of! Said to be a Genovese type, with similar blousy leaves and rich, complex aromatics. Here in our northern Maine garden, we're constantly up against cool summer weather coupled with a very short growing season. We're also crazy for basil! It's just possible that this variety, originally collected high in the mountains of northern Italy, will be our dream come true. Originally collected by Seeds Trust, who report excellent results in Montana, our seed comes from Adaptive Seeds, which specializes in cool-tolerant crops for the Pacific Northwest. We can't wait to try it, and think it will be a winner anywhere the heat index is too low to grow common varieties really well. We recommend it thorughout the Northeast and Great Lakes region.


Basil, Lettuce Leaf  $3.00 
(Ocimum basilicum) Culinary - The leaves are 3-5 inches in length and very wide--you could stuff them with your favorite doulmada stuffing! True basil taste and aroma. Originated in Japan. Maybe go fusion with sushi doulmadas?



Basil, Lime  $3.00
(Ocimum basilicum) Culinary - It's basil, all right, but with an aromatic suggestion of limes. Use it with abandon in Thai dishes, since it originated in Thailand. Rather different, and highly recommended.


Basil, Napoletano Bolloso $3.00
(Ocimum basilicum) Culinary Highly prized traditional variety of Naples. Robust plants reach 3 feet in favored locations, and are very slow to flower. The leaves reach 4-6 inches in length, are deeply crinkled with a very intense aroma. The thick leaves do not dry particularly well, but are superb for use in pesto. One leaf will wrap a slice of tomato and mozzarella--what more could anyone desire or deserve?



Basil, Genovese Red Freddy
  $3.00 
(Ocimum basilicum) Culinary All the rage in the new seed catalogs, so we decided to check it out. Word is, it's a true Genovese type, sporting the  abundant, large blousy leaves, and with the same intense Italian-basil nose. The difference, of course, is that it's a red. We're skeptical by nature and don't feel compelled to try every new thing that comes along but we thought we'd try this one. Not sure if the world is ready for another red basil. But if you are, this one is eminently worth a try!

 


Basil, Siam Queen  $3.00
(Ocimum basilicum) Another Thai culinary variety. To us it has the classic Thai basil taste, reminiscent of cloves in some way. Plant has elongated, relatively narrow green leaves. Use along with some hot chilis, coconut milk, and lemon grass, and you're well on your way to an authentic Thai meal. Large plants.



Basil, Spicy Globe  $3.00 
(Ocimum basilicum) A wonderful dwarf type that we were accidentally intoduced to in 2007. This culinary variety reaches about a foot tall for us, with small leaves and compact form which make it ideal for pot culture or the front of a border or bed. The flavor and aroma are intense, pure basil with a heady vanilla overtone. We grow numerous basils in our own garden every year, but this is one that we choose never to be without.

 



Bloody Dock $4.00 
(Rumex sanguineus) Perennial - Also known as Red Sorrel. Edible foliage plant is outstandingly attractive, with its apple-green leaves highlighted with blood-red veining. Reaches barely a foot in height, forms a clump over time, and fully hardy in Zones 4-9. Prefers a moist situation but tolerates drough. Remove flowerheads to prevent self-sowing, or permit them to mature to create, in time, a stunning mass planting. The  leaves have a sprightly, tart flavor, and are fine steamed, or raw in salads when very young. One of the first edibles available in the earliest spring garden. Simply charming! 




Borage, Blue
$3.00  
(Borago officinalis) Venerable annual herb which originated in the Middle East but has been grown in European cottage garden for many centuries. Sky-blue starlike flowers, perched atop wooly stems, are the parts most frequently used. The plant reaches two to three feet in height and a bit less in breadth, and when clothed in blossoms cuts quite a figure in the garden. In addition to reputed medicinal uses, the flowers are used fresh as a garnish for salads, where their mild cucumber-like flavor is appreciated. Or, for a charming old-fashioned touch, the fresh blossoms are dipped in beaten egg white, gently dredged in finely granulated sugar, and air-dried to make an enchanting decoration for cakes and desserts, a delightful if not strictly necessary culinary value. This plant self-sows amiably where contented in the garden. Once grown the garden need never lack for this charming plant, nor should it.


Catnip    $3.00

(Nepeta cataria) Perennial—This mint relalative needs little introduction. The herb is potently attractive to cats, which seem to relish it. Scalloped, grey-green leaves cover the two-foot  plants all season long. Large spikes bearing many small, soft-purple flowers appear for weeks in midsummer. The effect isn't showy, really, but makes a pleasing backdrop for more dramatic sorts, and are really beautiful in their own right. Bees and hummingbirds flock to the plants, and the flowers make good bee forage over a long season, especially if spent blooms are removed promptly. May occasionally self-sow. Hardy Zones 3-8.



Chamomile, German Bodegold  
$3.00 
(Matriciaria recutita) Annual German chamomle is the sort most commonly grown, and most modern herbal research has centered on this form of chamomile, despite the Roman type's classic position. This herb, adored by pollinator insects, is often used for a pineapple-scented tea, usually made from the dried flowers; also employed in medicinal herbal remedies. The flowers are had in surprising abundance, and make a pretty show in the herb garden or border. 'Bodegold' is an improved German strain producing higher levels of essential oils, larger flowers, and larger yields. The one-inch daisies have yellow centers surrounded by delicate white petals. Flowers can be harvested after petals have dropped, and dried to make a cup of calming tea.


Chamomile, Roman  $3.00   

(Chamaemelum nobile, formerly Anthemis nobilis) Perennial--Roman Chamomile is the chamomile of legend, the source of classic chamomile tea, which has been beloved for centuries.The small, apple-scented blooms are collected and dried for a fragrant tea; both the flowers and the entire plant have been used as a medicinal as well. Ferny, aromatic foliage seldom exceeds a foot in height. Plants slowly increase by runners, forming an evergreen mat, but quicker increase may be had by lifting and dividing the resulting plantlets. Roman Chamomile is tough enough to take some foot traffic, makes a lovely edging plant for paths, and indeed in Elizabethan times, was cultivated for a fragrant lawn. Hardy Zones 4-9.



Chinese Chives   $3.00 
(Allium tuberosum) Perennial Also called garlic chives. The strap-shaped leaves are a grey-green covered by a waxy bloom. The foliage is used as a culinary herb, snipped and utilized similar to that of common chives, but imparts a galicky note instead of an oniony one. Pretty white, star-like flowers come as a bonus. Increases freely once established, or great in containers. Grows best in cool-summer climates.Hardy Zone 3-9.



Chives   $3.00 
(Allium schoenoprasum ) Perennial--Well known culinary herb, the fine tubular leaves are classic snipped and sprinkled over baked potatoes. Makes an attractive clump, and is easily divided for increase once the plants are mature. The lavender-pink flowers are pretty, if not particularly showy, making it an aesthetic asset as well as a practical one. Hardy Zone 3-9.



Goji Berry (Chinese Wolfberry )  $4.00
(Lycium barbarum) Perennial shrubs to 9 feet tall, but usually much shorter, and bearing fruit from their second year on. Plants have naturalized in England, having been grown there since the Eighteenth Century, and known there as Duke of Argyll's Tea Tree. Goji plants appear tolerant of a wide range of soils, so long as these are well drained, preferring full sun for best production, and are somewhat drought-tolerant once established. The plant is said to tolerate temperatures down to -15 degrees F., which should mean they are hardy to Zone 5. Small lavender flowers appear in June through September, yielding sweet, juicy, small scarlet berries, which look not unlike small wild peppers, a month or two later. The wrinkly dried sweet-tart berries are often marketed as "Tibetan goji berry," which appears to be a misnomer since there is no history of commercial cultivation in the Land of Snows. Most commercial cultivation has been in China, where the fruits are esteemed as a medicinal for reputed health benefits, and now their use is becoming popular in the West as well. The berries and their juice have been touted for their vitamin C and anti-oxidant content, anti-cancer and many other qualities, most of which have not been evaluated by the FDA.




feverfew.jpg

Feverfew    $3.50 

(Tanacetum parthenium) A shrubby perennial herb to 4 feet in height, studded with hundreds of one-inch, white daisies. Dies back to the ground in winter, but hardy to
Zone 4 at least. Reputed remedy for migraines and arthritis; we can attest to its medicinal utility for the latter. Very ornamental in the back of an herb bed or border.

 


Feverfew Golden Ball    $3.50   
(Tanacetum parthenium) Perennial—This version of Feverfew features large, fully double flowers in sunny yellow. Where the species plant above has single, white-petaled daisies, Golden Ball has amazingly double blooms like miniature Chrysanthemums. (In reality, all forms of Feverfew have at times been classed as Chrysanthemums, so the resemplence isnt far-fetched in the least.) More compact and refined than the species, seldom reaching two feet in height; but comes with the same rugged constitution, taking heat and drought in its stride. Hardy in Zones 3-9.

Greek Catmint   $3.50 
(Nepeta parnassica) Perennial—Magnificent plant that originated in the mountains of sunny Greece. Reaches typically four feet high, sometimes taller, and two to three feet wide, making a powerful focal point in herb gardens or perennial beds. Trusses of lavender flowers draw bees and butterflies, affording them excellent forage. Blooms over a long season, starting early summer; cutting the plant back after bloom encourages additional flushes of flowers. Full sun to partial shade, likes good drainage, takes heat and dry soil. Hardy to Zone 5 or possibly Zone 4.




Lemon Balm  $3.50
(Melissa officinalis) Bright green very scalloped leaves add a true lemon flavor to drinks, desserts and more. The plant is a hardy perennial at least to Zone 5. Often self-sows, but seldom gets out of bounds. Bees and butterflies adore this plant!












Lion's Tail or Wild Dagga   $3.50
(Leonotis sp)  Native to South Africa, this member of the mint family is used as a folk medicinal among the native peoples as a purgative and vermifuge and for numerous ailments.  The tender perennial plant grows to 7 feet tall and produces lovely orange flowers, making a bold statement at least, if its medicinal virtues aren't wanted. Caution: This plant can produce a mild narcotic effect.



Lovage   $3.00
Perennial--Classic northern European celery relative, this delicious culinary herb is superb added to soups and stews, maybe even salads in moderation. The leaves and succulent stems are the part usually used, although the roots sometimes get quite large and are occasionally eaten. Flavor is similar to celery's, but so much more intense you'd never know it from tasting the very strongly-flavored fresh herb. But chopped fine, it imparts a definite celery flavor in cooking. We've only ever seen it get to about three feet tall, but in favored locations--rich, somewhat moist soil and full sun to dappled shade--has been known to reach eight feet, making this robust herb a candidate for the back of the bed. Serrated, tri-lobed leaves look attractive from early spring to late fall. Hardy Zone 5-8. 

Oregano, Golden  $3.00 
(Oreganum vulgare 'Aureus') Perennial--Leaves are a very distinctive, sunny golden yellow to yellow-green. Useful as a culinary herb, possessing mild, true oregano flavor and aroma. Equally useful as an unusual ground cover, as the foliage is present over a very long season. Has a tendency to creep, which can be encouraged, and may be mowed to about six inches in height, to maintain a neat appearance; even takes light foot traffic! Does not flower as abundantly as other oregano varieties but when present the white to pink blooms feed the bees and butterflies from miles around. Hardy USDA Zones 4-9

Oregano, Hot and Spicy   $3.00
(Oreganum vulgare 'Hot and Spicy') Hirsute gray-green leaves boast the most intense oregano aroma and flavor of any variety we have grown! We love it in the kitchen, but then we love oregano generally; there's just more to love with this one. Use sparingly in your favorite recipes, as this variety is markedly more intense. Makes a low mound, to two feet across; revels in full sun and hot dry oil like all oreganos. Hardy USDA Zones 4-8.



Oregano, True Greek   $3.00 
(Origanum heracleotum) There has been much dispute among gardeners and horticulturists regarding which is the "true" culinary oregano, but we've cast our vote for this one. Pizza wouldn't be pizza without it; also an absolute necessity for red pasta sauces, Caribbean cuisine, and useful in authentic Mexican red chili dishes.


Parsley, Flat Italian   $3.00 
(Petroselinum crispum) Biennial—Large, flat leaves. Slow to make a start, maybe, but develops into a robust plant that thrives on cutting. Held its foliage well into December in our garden, and started again when the weather mellowed in early March. Will self-sow if you let it, and make its cheerful presence felt for years to come. How can anything smell so strong, while smelling so light and fresh? Remarkable! If you're accustomed to insipid store-bought parsley (as we were) this one will make a parsley "convert" of you (as we now are!).

Parsley, Triple Curled   $3.00 
(Petroselinum crispum) Biennial—Very curly-leaved version of the old favorite. We ourselves very much prefer the flat-leaf form as having better flavor, but for those who disagree, we offer this very, very curly form. The flavor is good, the leaves are lovely and produced in great number over a very long season on foot-high plants. Hardy to Zone 5, we believe, but there's little point in trying to overwinter it unless you want it to set seed; we've seen self-sown parsley persist for years in the most unlikely-looking, rough dry soils, though it's said to prefer fairly rich, well-watered ones.


Pennyroyal   $3.00 
(Mentha pulegium) Perennial—Remarkably intense, sharply aromatic mint relative. "Pulegium" was the name given to the plant at least as early as the Roman writer Pliny, and refers to the plant's supposed property of driving fleas away. Low-growing, mat-forming plants almost resemble oregano plants in appearace, but by flavor and scent, pure mint. The drawback is that Pennyroyal oil has been documented as toxic and should not be taken internally. But consumption of the leaves in tea and various folk remedies has a long history and is deemed safe by some. We do not recommend using this herb internally. But the plant can still be used in soaps, sackets and candles. And, as with the entire Mint tribe, the flowers are powerfully attractive to bees and other pollinators, feeding them lavishly over a long season. Hardy to Zone 5.

Rue or Herb O' Grace   $3.00 
(Ruta graveolens) Perennial—Small gray-blue-green leaves atop an eventually somewhat shrubby plant, reaching at most two feet in height.Bears insignificant, yellow-green flowers. Leaves have not-very-pleasant odor and taste, but have reputed medicinal value. One of the Biblical "bitter herbs" and still included in modern Passover tradition. Rue was also believed to bestow the "second sight" although no modern research confirms this. We offer it merely as a curiosity and as an important piece of herbal history. Most long-lived and successful when grown in fairly dry soil.

Stevia, Sweetie Star   $3.00
(Stevia rebaudiana) Tropical annual that is cultivated for the leaves, an excelent source of a natural, calorie-free sweetener. This fine-leaf variety is considered to be the sweetest strain known. The leaves are sweetest when harvested as the weather cools in late summer. Likes sunny conditions, not-to-moist soil. Though an annual, the plants can be maintained indefinitely if the flowers are removed as soon as these appear; left to bloom and set seed, the plant dies. Best grown in pots so the plants can be protected from cold weather except in the warmest climates, where plants occasionally overwinter.

Thyme, Common  $3.00 
(Thymus vulgaris) This is the idispensable culinary variety, which reaches only a few inches to a foot in height. Perennial remains green all season long, except in the harshest of climates. It should be set in full sun, as close to the kitchen as possible, to allow discerning cooks to bring in a sprig of the freshest possible article to augment their savory dishes.


Valerian   $3.00 
(Valeriana officinalis) Perennial--Classic medicinal plant, well known and much used since ancient times. The roots are the part mostly used; these typically mature in their second year. Dried and used as a tea or tincture, Valerian was employed as a potent soporific or sleeping draught. The foliage has a somewhat unpleasant scent, yet the mature plants make large clusters of tiny white or pink flowers that are sweetly fragrant, at least to some, and their extracts have been widely used in perfumery. Grows in full sun, fairly rich garden soil. Zones 4-9



Zaatar $3.50 
(Origanum syriaca) Unique Middle Eastern herb that is seldom available outside of specialty  stores in the larger cities.  Absolutely indispensible culinary herb for truly authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. The plant is a distinctive blend of oregano, marjoram and thyme. This plant is one of several referred to collectively as "za'atar."  Plant grows to 3 feet and is covered with flower spikes which are used as well as the leaves for seasoning. Grows best in full sun, and prefers a dry, very well drained poor to moderately fertile soil.  A tender perennial in zones 8 - 10.  An annual or container plant in all other zones.  As described in the 2008 Summer Heirloom Gardener Magazine. A good choice for pot culture.